Once again, we must stay alert

Friday, December 7, 2001

Once again, we have been asked to return to a state of high alert against the possibility of another terrorist attack. This time, officials believe, another strike could come before the Islamic holy month of Ramadan ends in mid-December.

Previous appeals to be on alert have, thankfully, not been accompanied by other attacks. Indeed, there is some concern that telling Americans to be on alert without specific information about any imminent threats actually diminishes our readiness.

But careful readers and listeners have been able to ascertain that there is more substance to these alerts than meets the eye. For one thing, we now know that the latest alert came as the result of intercepted telephone conversations in Canada among suspected terrorists and their sympathizers.

Obviously, it is not in our best security interests to be told every detail of high-level intelligence about what the terrorists are plotting. For now, we must do what every American is capable of doing: stay alert.

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